After TIFF World Premiere, UK-India co-production The Hungry to Premiere at London Film Festival (LFF) and MAMI
· Macabre fairytale unites UK and Indian filmmaking talent
·Cast includes Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Neeraj Kabi, Arjun Gupta, Sayani Gupta Antonio Aakeel, Suraj Sharma
Mumbai: Following news of the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), UK-India co-production The Hungry has secured further high-profile slots for its European and Asian premieres at the BFI London Film Festival (LFF) and Mumbai Film Festival.
A Cinestaan Film Company/Film London co-production, the Naseeruddin Shah-Tisca Chopra starring drama follows Tulsi Joshi (Chopra), a widow and bride-to-be who arrives at her own wedding seeking revenge for the brutal murder of her first-born son. Based on Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, The Hungry explores the violence that exists between power and love – a macabre fairytale set in the elite circles of northern India.
The film is written and directed by Bornila Chatterjee (Let’s Be Out, The Sun is Shining) and co-written and produced by Tanaji Dasgupta (Chittagong, Sold) and Kurban Kassam (The Party, 20,000 Days on Earth, Ginger and Rosa).
The film was born from desire to forge stronger links between the Indian and UK film industries, and saw Film London and Cinestaan Film Company embark on an ambitious process which united talent from the two continents, using Film London’s ‘Microwave’ feature film scheme as its template. They were supported by the British Council, who enabled a series of workshops to take place as part of last year’s ‘Shakespeare Lives’ celebration, in order to develop the film in anticipation of the current UK/India Year of Culture. The result is a true international collaboration, comprising a team of international filmmakers; a cast of exciting new and established talent from India and the UK; glorious Mumbai backdrops and post-production courtesy of London’s world-renowned Twickenham Studios.
Says veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, “Bornila is extremely open and receptive to ideas from others, which can be rare with first-time directors. I would rate Bornila as among the best directors I’ve worked with, and you could sense that in her first film itself.”
Elaborating on the film, actor Tisca Chopra says, “During the course of the film, I hardly slept for about 20 days, not because I didn’t have the time but because I was sweating and thinking – I could’ve done this, I could’ve done that; the writing has so many layers and levels that you keep peeling things off and there’s still more to do.”
Says Rohit Khattar Chairman of Cinestaan Film Company, ““We at Cinestaan Film Company are delighted that following The Hungry’s world premiere at TIFF, it will be premiering in its twin home cities, London and Mumbai. The Hungry was born from a project to bring the UK and India film industries together and the unique collaboration that has seen this project come to life will get the launch its filmmaking team richly deserve.”
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “As well as being an exciting film in its own right, The Hungry is also a truly unique collaboration that germinated in the UK and flourished in India. As such, it’s entirely fitting that the film will have its European premiere at LFF and its Asian showcase at MAMI. We couldn’t be prouder to be sharing the film with the world through Microwave International, and having it shown to the world at a trio of renowned festivals – Toronto, London and Mumbai – is testament to the creativity, passion and determination of everyone involved. My congratulations go out to the filmmakers, and my thanks to our partners Cinestaan Film Company, the British Council, SUMS and Amazon. This is very much the beginning of the film’s journey, and I can’t wait to see what the world thinks of it.”
Briony Hanson, Director, Film, British Council, said: “This year we celebrate UK/India 2017, a year-long cultural exchange between two countries that have a huge amount of shared history and heritage. This serves as the perfect backdrop for the film’s European and Indian premieres, and October promises to be an exciting month for everyone involved in the film and everyone who loves exciting cinema.”
Starring Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Neeraj Kabi, Arjun Gupta, Sayani, Antonio Aakeel and Suraj Sharma, ‘The Hungry’ is produced by Cinestaan Film Company and Microwave International Ltd. in collaboration with Film London.
The film has its world premiere at TIFF 2017, screening on 14, 15 and 17 September.
The film receives its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on 7 and 8 of October and will receive its Asian premiere as part of the Mumbai Film Festival.